Leland hopes to draw in manufacturing businesses to expand Innovation Park
LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - Leland gets bigger and bigger by the minute it seems, but not only in its residential areas. Businesses in its industrial park are welcoming new neighbors, too.
“Obviously, we have a lot of restaurants and retail businesses within the town that we’ve had for many years and they’ve had the service employment as well, but we’d like to attract high paying jobs in the manufacturing industry,” said economic and community development director Gary Vidmar.
At Innovation Park, previously called Leland Industrial Park, three businesses are showing interest in coming to Leland. Vidmar wasn’t able to disclose what those businesses are since they’re still working on making deals, but he says Innovation Park is moving in the right direction.
Much of the land is already occupied by companies like Coca-Cola Distribution and Flow Sciences, but there are still several parcels of the 630-acre campus that are undeveloped, and have yet to realize their potential. That includes the 225-acre lot the three businesses are considering.
“There’ll have to be infrastructure put in — roads, utilities,” said Vidmar. “Those are all available in the park right now, so it’s just a matter of extending the roads into that land as well as the utilities.”
The Town of Leland has been in talks with three companies looking at moving to the area, eyeing a 225-acre lot annexed into the town last year. Although officials couldn’t say exactly what businesses might soon call that area home, we do have an idea of what the town has in mind for the park’s future.
“We’re looking at attracting small businesses with between 50 and 100 employees, distribution centers and other companies that could take advantage of the assets that are in that park and the proximity to I-40 and I-140,” said Vidmar.
Those other assets include access to high-speed internet, the nearby airport and seaport, and the fact that the area around it is growing with the park, offering housing for those moving to the area for jobs.
“That’s one of the primary reasons we wanted to annex that land,” said Vidmar. “Up until last year, the town had very little industrial land to attract manufacturing companies. In order to be a successful town and take advantage of the assets we have, we’d like to see jobs in the manufacturing sector, high-paying jobs.”
More jobs in the area mean more people to live in Leland and support other Leland businesses, increasing the town’s tax revenue in more ways than one.
“As you develop that land and increase its value, that will bring a significant amount of tax revenue for the town as well,” said Vidmar.
Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.